Monday, February 16, 2015

My Review of Weekend (2011)

Written And Directed by Andrew Haigh

Russell: "You're obsessed with concrete. You're absolutely obsessed with it."
Glen: "But why would you want *concrete* when you can have whatever you want?"

Trust Film4 to provide a tonne of film centering on various relationships that would all be inevitably better than a certain movie in the cinemas and this little gem from 2011 is one of those LGBT movies that I had been wanting to see for a while now.

A simple story, starring both Tom Cullen (Downton Abbey) and Chris New (Garrow's Law) as Russell and Glen, the movie focuses on both men meeting up in a nightclub on a Friday night and spending the rest of the weekend getting to know more and more about each other as the latter intends to leave for America to pursue his art.

It's an engrossing film with plenty of great character beats and pauses and some genuinely thrilling sex scenes between Cullen and New that have a certainly authenticity to them as the two of them comes to terms with who the other partner really is and what both men actually want out of their own lives. The comments on how both gay and straight people conduct themselves versus relationships is acutely thought out as well and rings more than a little bit true as well.

While the movie does end on a little bit of a downer, it's nice that the connection forged between Russell and Glen does feel genuine and the last moment where a memento of their first morning spent together is a nice way of ending this movie. At 97 minutes long, it's nicely fleshed out without feeling needlessly padded and as a one-off encounter, it's perfect too. Almost like real life in that way.

- Andrew Haigh who wrote and directed this movie also went on to co-create HBO series, Looking. This movie certainly feels quite similar to that show in so many ways.
- Apparently for the semen scenes, they used liquid soap and carrots. The coke both Russell and Glen snort is also glucose powder.
- It's nice that we got to see both Russell and Glen's friends and fellow co-workers, albeit briefly in the movie.
- I thought with the way Russell was cataloguing previous sex encounters and stories on his laptop that he might be trying to write some kind of erotic fiction or just a book.

Overall, a terrific movie. Definitely one of those little gems you have to watch (though probably not at 1.15am like I did last night) for yourself, Weekend is a tender, insightful, playful and without trying to be, a rather sexy movie too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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